Week 24–Everyone’s a critic

I have been busy the past few days finalizing projects that will be due in just a couple short weeks. I’m used to deadlines and last minute touch ups, but this time is different. I feel it.

This is my last semester at Mount Mercy University. I planned on finishing my classes early so I could concentrate on my new career as newspaper publisher. I’ll miss the homework, the students, the professors, and the critiquing; yes, even the critiquing.

When I started at Kirkwood Community College three years ago, I opened myself up to new challenges that would help me become a better journalist. It was difficult at first. There was no sugar-coating and I learned to take it like a man, or rather, a woman.

Transferring to Mount Mercy University intimidated me a bit, with more homework and a weekly newspaper, but I dug in and learned as much as I could.

I admit that I cried the first time I was told that my story wasn’t good enough. But after I dried my tears, I vowed that I would take what my teachers told me and do it that way. I still forget to put the most important information first or that I can’t write the way I talk, and that my articles shouldn’t sound like brochure copy, but I’m still learning; I always will be.

I have a big problem. I want my work to be perfect, but it’s not. There is always editing to do, and even when I think it’s “good enough” to go to print, I still find things I could have done differently, things I could have done better. But….

I am ready.

Soon I won’t have that safety net, that person to whom I could turn to when I had a question or concern, or when I wasn’t sure how to do something. Soon I will be on my own. That’s a scary thought.

But I have been taught well and the voices will be there inside my head guiding me when I am unsure of myself.

To those critics who never sugar-coated the truth, encouraged me to be better, and were there when I needed the support, thank you. You have made a difference in my life.

Week 24 has me reflecting on how hard these last three years have been and how I could have never reached my goals without the love and support of the people in my life.

There are a few people who don’t think I have what it takes to start a community newspaper, and so I say to them, “Watch me.”

I have been taught well.

The Hiawatha Advocate


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